Holidays and short breaks can be expensive, even if you budget, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut back on trips to Devon. There are plenty of ways to have fun without having to spend anything – check out our suggestions for free things to do in Devon.

Follow a town or city trail

One way to explore Devon’s towns and cities is to have a wander and with a number of locations hosting trails it has never been easier to explore without spending Monday. In Sidmouth, there is a Blue Plaque Trail which takes you around some of the town’s landmarks while teaching you about its heritage. Similarly in Torquay, there is the Agatha Christie mile, with waymarked routes taking you to places that have a connection to the famous author – including places like Torre Abbey – you can explore their gardens for free. Alternatively, there are a number of walking tours around Exeter and Plymouth, some of which are free or you can do a self-guided tour and explore at your own pace.

Visit the beach

Not everyone comes to Devon for the beaches but as the North of the county is the UK’s first surf reserve and there are a host of beautiful sandy beaches and the famous Jurassic Coast to explore, it is a good choice for a free day out. Why not head to a sandy beach, like the ones in Woolacombe or Croyde where you can dig sandcastles or catch the waves? Or grab a bucket and check out some of the rock pools that can be found around East Devon?

Explore a National Park

Devon has two National Parks, Exmoor and Dartmoor and both have an abundance of natural beauty and places to explore. Dartmoor is full of wooded valleys, waterfalls and tors while Exmoor has incredible coastal views and wild mountain goats to spot. Both parks are also home to herds of ponies – why not see how many you can see while out and about? Just remember, they are wild, so do keep your distance.

Learn something

Many of Devon’s museums offer free entry – perfect for a rainy day if you don’t want to fork out for a visit to the cinema or have time for a trip to one of the larger indoor attractions. From small town museums to large establishments like the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, there is a host of exhibits to keep you entertained and there are often workshops and additional activities that are free to join in too.

These are just some of the suggestions for things to do on a budget in Devon, don’t forget you can also jump on your bikes and explore one of the many cycle ways like the Tarka Trail or the East Devon Way or spend some time at Haldon Forest Park or somewhere similar. There are lots of ways to explore on foot too, the South West Coast Path can be accessed at various points across Devon, with several towns taking part in their passport scheme and the Jurassic Coast walk can also be joined in East Devon.

What are your favourite free things to do in Devon? You can let us know on Twitter or Facebook. Can’t get to Devon this year? Don’t worry, keep up what’s going on by following Visit Devon on TikTok.